Song of the Day: Weekend - Hazel

photo by Victoria Holt

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Hazel” by Weekend from the 2011 EP Red on Slumberland Records.

Weekend - Hazel (MP3)

Late in 2010, San Francisco noise rock trio Weekend released Sports, their curiously-titled debut album that features track after track of haunting distortion, muffled vocals, and swirling, ambient guitars - not exactly the sunny psychedelia typically associated with the Bay Area. Nevertheless, songs like “End Times” and “Youth Haunts” made Sports one of the most talked-about albums of the year, drawing favorable comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Joy Division.

Red, their recently released five-song EP, follows in the footsteps of Sports, but sees the band cleaning up their sound a bit and focusing more on their songwriting. Instead of placing the emphasis on the fuzz and “noise” aspect of their music, Red, and in particular today’s featured song “Hazel,” sees the band using spring-y, more pronounced bass and drums, as well as bringing lead man Shaun Durkan’s voice to the forefront instead of burying it beneath countless layers of distortion. Though the songs on Red are pop-ier and easier to digest, Weekend still are able to retain the scuzziness and wall-of-sound ambience that they perfected on their 2010 debut.

Weekend was just in town just over a week ago (and set off our fire alarms with their smoke machine!). You can listen to their session here. Now, their upcoming tour schedule is pretty sparse, but check their website for more details. If a new album is indeed in the works, they’re sure to be hitting the road after it’s release. While we’re waiting, here’s their video for “End Times,” one of the stand out tracks from their debut album Sports:

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